“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my Soul to keep”
Our Mother was born in Little Rock, Iowa to loving parents Carl and Elsie Dammann. Mom took grade 1 to 7 in a one room country school. She remembered one thing in particular from the 1920’s: the kids were playing in the school yard at recess when the teacher came out, and called to them “Good news, Charles Lindberg has landed in Paris!”
In 1929, the Dammann family moved to a farm 4 miles from the village of Froude. That was the beginning of the dirty thirties, a very difficult time for their family. In 1935-36, Mom had the opportunity to take a business course in Regina. She lived with 2 other girls and remembers bread being 9 cents a loaf. Occasionally for a treat, they each bought 1 slice of bologna. In 1937, Mom started as Assistant to the Sec. Treas. of the RM of Griffin. Her salary was $30 per month and room and board was $15. In 1940, Mom accepted a position as Assistant to Sec. Treas. of Snipe Lake in Eston. It was the first time she had ever seen beautiful fields of wheat. After several promotions, first at the RM of Cory, she came to the RM of Winslow in Druid and met Ralph Campbell, a veteran of WW II. She and Dad married in November of 1946, six months after their first date. They started their family farm 6 miles south of Druid. As long as we can remember Dad lovingly referred to Mom as “sweet lips”!
Mom was one smart cookie, especially good in math. 2021 was the first year she did not complete her own income tax forms. She was a skilled bridge player, and was a stickler for grammar. She managed her laptop until just recently, exchanging photos and emails with her grandchildren.
Our life on the farm was just the best for my brother Cal and me. Lots of memories: baby chicks in the brooder house, the raspberry patch, hanging clothes on the clothesline and spreading newspapers on a freshly washed porch after a rain, taking meals to the field and helping Dad place a new born calf on the open oven door. Everything in their day-to-day life was neatly recorded in a scribbler…entries re: grain hauled, prices of any new or used equipment and how many bushels of grain was in each bin. “Checking the Crops” was something Mom and Cal did together even after leaving the farm. A true farmers wife for sure. What other 95-year-old would have a tractor on her birthday cake!!
The Piano gave Mom so much pleasure through her life. She always considered the 3 years of piano lessons in Iowa as the greatest gift her parents could have ever given her. Playing for dances, church weddings, funerals, or giving music lessons….all recorded in the appropriate scribbler. “Playing by ear” was a gift. Mom has told the story of playing “God Save the King” at a campaign stop for T.C. Douglas.
Mom was a very good cook and loved food. She ate her share of butter, Cool Whip and Breyers Ice Cream which could easily be the secret to her long life!
Mom is survived by her daughter Connie Johnson (Dan) and her son Cal Campbell (Charlotte) her brother Clair Dammann (Janet) and sister-in-law Betty Ambedian as well as nieces and nephews, grandchildren Laurie McLeod (Wade), Camille Giacobbo (Josh), Neil Johnson (Michelle) and Jenny Stelzer (Dan Beaulac), she dearly loved her great grandchildren Charlie, Sadie, Isaac, Joe, Ethan, Nina, Sienna, Emily, Eden and Summer.
Mom was predeceased by her parents Carl and Elsie, her husband Ralph, brothers Charles and LeRoy, sisters-in-law Olivia, Eileen and Enid and niece Wendy.
Mom was up and dressed for the day on March 20, 2022. She passed away at Eatonia Oasis Living with her grandson and 2 of her great-grandchildren holding her hand.
“And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.”
Funeral arrangements are pending and a date for Velma’s Celebration of Life will be announced when confirmed. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Velma may be made to the Home Care Handibus c/o Town of Kindersley, 106 5th Avenue East, Kindersley, SK, S0L 1S0 or to Eatonia Oasis Living Inc., 205 2nd Avenue West, Eatonia, SK, S0L 0Y0.